Greenwich Hospital to hold monthly car seat safety checks

Beginning on June 16, Greenwich Hospital will offer monthly car seat safety checks every third Thursday of the month from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at West Putnam Medical Center, 500 West Putnam Ave. in Greenwich.

People can schedule an appointment with a certified technician to learn how to correctly install a car seat and properly secure their child in the car seat.

To make an appointment, call 203-200-KIDS or email [email protected].

Seventy-three percent of car seats are misused or improperly installed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Connecticut law has specific standards for rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats and booster seats depending on the age and weight of the baby or child. Safe car seats include a 5-point harness and chest clip, a metal splitter plate in the rear, clear labeling and other features.

“Counterfeit car seats sold online are a growing safety issue,” said Nick Aysseh, manager, Center for Injury and Violence Prevention at Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS).  He recommends only buying car seats from a reputable company; avoid third-party vendors. Look for red flags: missing labels, missing registration card and manual, seats without a harness retainer. Products meeting European standards are not approved for use in the United States.

“If you are expecting a baby, make an appointment to have the car seat checked before the baby is born. It will make things easier at the time of delivery,” said Kathy Carley-Spanier, RN, director, Community Health at Greenwich Hospital. The hospital will not discharge a newborn without a safe car seat.

In addition to Greenwich Hospital, YNHHS has car seat safety checks at Bridgeport and Yale New Haven hospitals.